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Deering High Junior Wins Maine's 'Poetry Out Loud' Competition

Courtesy Maine Arts Commission
Deering High School junior Allan Monga was chosen the winner in Maine's annual Poetry Out Loud competition.

Maine's Poetry Out Loud champion this year comes from Zambia, and he has only lived in Maine for a few months. 

Allan Monga, a junior at Deering High School, won the competition Tuesday night with the poem "In the Desert" by Stephen Crane. 

The challenge includes approximately 9,500 students from across the state. Monga says winning it one of his top achievements since arriving in Maine.

Credit Courtesy Maine Arts Commission
Lee Academy senior Lauren Dodge, the runner-up in Maine's annual Poetry Out Loud competition.

"I love poetry, but I never had the opportunity to express myself in other people's words," Monga says. "And when I got here, I got to learn about Poetry Out Loud, and I thought, 'It's the perfect fit for me.'"

Monga won $200 for himself and $500 to purchase poetry books for his school. 

He'll head to Washington D.C. in late April to compete in the national Poetry Out Loud finals.

Lauren Dodge, a senior from Lee Academy, was the runner-up in the competition.